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FMLA Guidelines

We’ll assist you in tracking and managing intermittent FMLA leave … fighting FMLA fraud and FMLA abuse … and managing FMLA in general.

Beyond mastering FMLA regulations on intermittent leave, we’ll share FMLA guidelines on how to curb FMLA abuse, and dramatically improve your overall FMLA compliance.

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The DOL announced it plans to conduct a study next year of how employees use leave under the FMLA, a move that could be a sign the agency is planning more regulatory changes to the law. The timing of this announcement suggests any FMLA regulatory changes won’t be rolled out until 2011 at the earliest.
Q. An employee has requested FMLA-protected leave to care for his partner’s son. We are aware that the child is not legally or biologically related to our employee. Do we have to grant the leave?
Question: “We have an employee who some of us suspect is faking migraines so she can have time off or leave early when she wants.  She does have intermittent FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave, but every time she has an alleged migraine, she spends hours logged on Facebook or Twitter (from her home) or she is off running errands.  It is my understanding that if you have a migraine, you can’t function.  If you call her out on it and even keep pressing, she just lies.  Her behavior is affecting morale because our company adheres to a strict attendance policy. It is frustrating for someone to get an unexcused absence for being legitimately sick, whereas she calls in or leaves early at least once a week, and there is no repercussion.  Is there anything we as her co-workers can do?” — Anonymous
As FMLA administration grows more complex, more employers are using software to track it. Most of the time that works fine. But as one employer recently found out, FMLA apps don't always tell the whole story. Lesson learned: There's no substitute for doing a hands-on review of employee records.

Hiring managers spend too much time interviewing candidates—and asking them the wrong questions. Then they’re often surprised to have to fire those same candidates a few months later after discovering that good interview skills don’t necessarily signal a great job fit. The problem: Employers often hire for hard skills but fire for soft skills, says Karl Ahlrichs of Hiring Smart, an Indiana firm specializing in employee selection. Instead, says Ahlrichs, “Our new slogan should be, ‘Fire them before we hire them.’” ...

Under the right circumstances, employers that pay discretionary bonuses based on actual performance don’t have to make the extra payments to employees on FMLA leave. Thus, a discretionary bonus based on performance during each quarter may not have to be paid if the employee didn’t work.
The costs of employee absenteeism—reflected in lost production, overtime and temporary replacements for the absent worker—can add up quickly. What’s the best way to combat the problem? With a clear policy, careful documentation, consistent application of the policy and progressive discipline.
For the past 16 years, complying with the FMLA has been complex, but at least the law (once you figured it out) stayed the same. Last year, that all changed. That’s when the first major overhaul of the FMLA took effect.
Test your knowledge of recent trends in employment law, comp & benefits and other HR issues with our monthly mini-quiz ...
Approximately 70% of employers sponsor wellness programs designed to drive down health care costs, reduce absenteeism and promote better employee health. Wellness programs that offer premium discounts have long been required to comply with HIPAA. More recently, two other laws muddied the wellness waters: the new health care reform law and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
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